Proper Training Produces Results by Mike Brown

Proper training produces results as Ted Roach came to experience under my instruction.  Ted Roach, the young man in the photos below, began training with me in September 2002. He had tried the usual “train-to-failure” nonsense so popular nowadays and, while he had made some progress, he was pretty much “stuck.”

When Ted came to me he was 5′ 8″ and weighed 175 pounds. He was 19 years old. His bench press hadn’t increased in years. The first thing I did was to explain to him that the “train-to-failure” method was actually counterproductive and, if you trained properly, bodybuilding was 80% nutrition.

The only supplement he took was Mits’ Protein with coconut milk. During the year that I trained him, his goals were not always consistent. Some months he wanted to get big as a house. Other months he thought he might want more definition. Had he been more consistent in his goals, he would have made more progress.

One of the other things I had to teach Ted was how to diagnose and correct problems with his body before those problems developed into an injury and halted his progress. At one point he told me that the wrestler’s bridge I had him doing made it difficult for him to turn his head as far to the right as he could to his left. I immediately sent him to Dr. Tom Trimble, some of whose methods are featured on my video, Bodybuilding The Right Way. Dr. Tom found that Ted’s spine was twisted and straightened him out.

Ted used the basic, heavy exercises–squats, bench press, deadlifts, chins, power cleans, military presses, and the like. He didn’t waste any time or effort on light, frivolous “girl scout” exercises, such as chest laterals, concentration curls, or anything on the pulley machines. He never used the “exercise machines” (furniture with weight stacks) in the gym.

The day he left for his home in Alaska, August 28 2003, he weighed 215 pounds. He was 20 years old.


Read Ted’s side of the story: Lifting with Mike Brown


Photos of Ted

Ted Roach, under my coaching and instruction, went from 175 pounds to 215 pounds in slightly less than a year, a gain of 40 pounds of muscle. He never took steroids.

The odds are I will not be able to give you a year of personal instruction. However, there are things you can do to accelerate your own progress.

1. Do not train to failure and do not spend more than an hour and 15 minutes in the gym, never more than 3-4 days a week.

2. Use muscle mass exercises, not exercises intended to isolate individual small muscles.

3. Eat correctly.

4. Take Mits’ Protein according to directions as a supplement.

5. Order and read The Strength of Samson: How to Attain It and Rich Tucker’s Biblical Nutrition.

6. Get enough sleep.

7. Correct any nagging little problems before they become debilitating injuries that force you to quit training.

For more information on how I trained Ted Roach and others, order the video, Bodybuilding The Right Way. You’ll be glad you did.

Frequently Asked Questions and Comments on Health Products

Health FAQ Listed Chronologically (most recent first)

Answers and Comments to Health FAQ

Thanks again for the speedy delivery of the liver powder. What about other organ meats like heart & kidney? My short term memory seems to actually be getting better since I started taking the liver and adrenal powder. My dad used to eat liver a few times a week. Now it is pretty hard to find it at the butchers. It is kind of strange how the diet of the USA has changed over the years. Moving Coke machines into schools has to be our peak poor behavior!

I suggest buffalo heart. It is like a big roast.  The food is made to taste good and sell more, not be good for you. You ought to hear the people that want to put the liver in capsules so they don't have to taste it.

It's funny how the liver powder doesn't taste bad to me now. At first it was a shock but I don't mind it at all in orange juice. Same for when I mix in thymus and adrenal glands. We have buffalos around here, maybe I can try one out.

I just wanted to say that I am very happy with your Liver Powder. It arrived today and drinking it with fruit juice proved to be much more enjoyable than chewing liver tabs. Plus I know it is more pure than many of the other tabs sold. I will also be continuing ordering protein from you again. It's been a while since I needed a protein supplement but my training is vamped up.

Just a quick question if you don't mind and perhaps you can get Mike's input on this. It is about digesting protein and sugars in the same meal. I'm no expert but have read from many sources that the body does not completely break down protein if it is mixed with carbs (starches or sugars), because they digest in different mediums, leaving the protein source to pass through the digestive tract a bit fermented. This could be totally wrong info, but I was curious about you input on this since the both the Liver Powder and Mits' Protein are both instructed to be ingested with fruit juice (sugar).

Thanks again for the great products and great service.

I'm glad you like taking the liver powder that way. Here are some quotes from Mike's book, The Strength of Samson, about digestion:
Nor should we overlook papayas and bananas, which even today grow in the town of Nazareth. Both foods are noted for their ability to assist in the digestion of proteins in the system, and protein builds muscle.
Does honey digest protein for you? It did for my then-youngest son. My little boy had a bad case of eczema and what the doctors thought was a destroyed liver. He was unable to consume meat, milk, eggs, or anything with a high protein content without breaking out and itching immediately. He couldn't digest proteins. Or so we thought. One spoonful of honey, 15 minutes before each meal and he consumed meat, milk, and eggs like a glutton with no side effects.
Oranges with each meal do the digesting you need. To make it easier for those oranges to do the job, cut out almost all bread products. Two slices of whole wheat a day are the limit--no more. Eat no less than four slices a week. A complete lack of wheat affects the central nervous system.
If you have a problem digesting milk or milk products, just go to almost any health food store and get some Lactaid tablets. Take them with your milk.

This was too simple. However, I never pass any piece of bodybuilding information up without trying it. I could hardly wait to see why it wouldn't work.

Every night for a month I took one (1) Lactaid tablet with a small glass of raw milk before going to bed. During the day I ate the way I almost always do just two or three moderate meals. I had no intention of overloading my digestive system. My adrenal glands and kidneys were in bad enough shape as it was from years of stress. Plus, at that time when in my forties, I was in the age bracket that digestive organs start to deteriorate anyway.

The first two weeks I appeared to have gained two pounds. I say "appeared" because a person's normal bodyweight will fluctuate that much on a day-to-day basis anyway.

Two weeks after my first weigh-in I planned on weighing myself again. My arms, chest, and shoulders felt somewhat thicker. I attributed that to mere wishful thinking on my part. I thought I might have gained another couple of pounds. Next time you're in the supermarket pick up a 4-lb. package of hamburger. Observe the amount of meat involved. That is how much meat I gained in two weeks--4 pounds.

If I was to take the Argentine beef liver powder, what should I mix in it to make it a good all around shake? How often should I take a day?

Argentine beef liver powder, is not good to make an all around shake. The taste of the liver permeates the whole drink. It is easier to mix a heaping tablespoon with enough water to wet the powder and then add your favorite juice, stirring, drinking, adding more juice, stirring, drinking until it is completely down the hatch. The heaping tablespoon is the daily dose 5 or 6 times a week.

I like to take it before any other liquid or food enters my stomach. It then digests quickly and begins to give me the benefits for the rest of the day and no aftertaste develops.

You can divide the tablespoon up to several times a day but why suffer more than once a day? Most of us that take it like to get it over with and go on to pleasant meals the rest of the day. Actually, I don't mind the taste at all but some people cannot stand it.

I had been faithfully taking my liver and then when I started work I slowly forgot about it. Well when my labs came back this time my iron was down again and my B12 was too low. No wonder I have been tired. Do I need to take an extra B12 if I start up with my liver again. I already started back to taking it, but is there enough of the B's so that I don't have to worry about supplementing with a B complex and a B12?

The liver has the natural B complex in proper proportions and I believe it is the best source of B's that you can get. I think you would be wasting the supplements if you took them in addition to the liver. To build up again, I suggest taking a heaping tablespoon 6 times a week.

Is the Argentine beef liver that you sell in pill form, tablets or powder?

The liver is in powder form. Many people would rather have the tablet because of the taste. The powder dosage is a heaping tablespoon x 5 or 6 times a week (or mornings on workout days). The powder digests easier but I must stress the taste aspect of the powder vs. the tablet.

I am sending this email to inquire about the Argentine beef liver that you sell. How do some of your customers consume it?

Here is how many people consume it: Mix 1 heaping tablespoon in unsweetened pineapple juice, soy milk, or other 100% fruit juice. It's easier to consume once a day rather than spreading it out. Do not consume within 2 hours of consuming dairy products (the calcium in the dairy product will bind with the iron in the liver and the body will not benefit from either nutrient). You can also make it in a blender with a banana added for a better taste. Using a small amount of creamed papaya will enhance digestion. Your own taste and imagination will guide you in the way you prefer to mix the beef liver. It's best to start with a teaspoon or less a day and gradually increase to the recommend heaping tablespoon a day. I put it in a glass and add water, mixing it until it is all wet. Then I add the juice, drink it, and add more juice to get all the residue. Some people mix with water and nothing else.

  1. How is the liver processed? To what temperature is it heated? Could I consider it raw?
  2. Is the liver complete with all of the original parts in it? Has anything been removed?
  3. How much does one take per day of the powder? What do you recommend


1.  It is processed at a low heat, thus, non-defatted, but powdered vs. raw with the liquid intact.

2.  Nothing has been removed (no chemicals used to process it).

3.  Instructions are included with the order. A heaping tablespoon 5-6 x a week is the recommended dosage. Start with a smaller portion (teaspoon or less) if you've never taken it before. I wet the liver with distilled water and stir until all portions are wet. Then I add a small amount of juice and stir to remove clumps. Then I add a little more juice, drink, add more juice, drink. (A quicker way to mix is to put juice and liver in a jar that will close tightly, shake well, and it's ready to drink. I always use as little juice as possible so I can add more juice to get all the remnants).

When do you take the liver?

I take it once a day, first thing in the morning when my stomach is empty. I have breakfast afterwards (no dairy within 2 hours).

Are there any concerns about iron toxicity with your product as there would be (determined clinically definitive) other iron supplements?

This is not an iron supplement; it is food containing iron. There is a big difference between natural occurring minerals and chemically produced ones. If there is real concern, I would suggest a blood test before you take it and then 3 months into it to put your mind at ease.

Have you heard of anyone my size (200 lbs) taking more, like 3 tablespoons daily?

Muscle builders have told me that they do. I don't know what dosage they use.

How many 1 tablespoon servings can I get per pound of the Argentine beef liver?

One pound should last about a month (depending on how heaping the tablespoon is), and have at least 30 servings. When I weigh my heaping tablespoon, it is .4 oz. (40 in one pound).

Is the 5 gram analysis on your website equal to about 1 tablespoon?

A rounded tablespoon is approximately 10 grams.

July 17, 2013:  Thanks for the books, fast shipping & communication.  I may get some more from you when i've digested this lot.  Regards, James

November 26, 2012:  Hey Dianne, Thought you and Mike would get a smile from this.  I still have my original cable set from 1975 that I bought out of Iron Man Magazine.  Guess that's good quality work. As I've used them hard.  I was a freshman in high school when I got them. Now I'm 52.  I'm an actor now up in New England.  Take care and have a great holiday season!  William

Feb 11, 2011:  Diagnostic Bodybuilding & The Strength of Samson are excellent books!!  I can't wait for the next two books I'm ordering now!  Roger G., Almeda, CA

Oct 29, 2010:  I just wanted to share a few things with you.  I've found that when making a liver powder drink, the more tart ingredients you use the less liver taste there is.  I use pineapple juice, a banana, strawberries, and a chunk of frozen grated coconut.  My wife is from the Philippines, and tells me grated coconut is from the older coconuts, which are used to make coconut milk. You can find it in Asian supermarkets in frozen packets.  I thaw it, cut into chunks and re-freeze.  I've also tried liver powder with tomato juice, and it intensifies it to where it's nearly unbearable.  Sincerely J

Sept 22, 2010:  I just wanted to give you some feedback on your products. I started taking some glandular supplements from another company about a year ago, and have been switching over to yours as I use those up. Those are quite expensive, so I was happy to find your bulk products.

The liver, which I started first, improved my energy level quite a lot. I recently started the thymus from you and the effects are very noticeable. I would normally have a cup of tea first thing every day and really noticed if I skipped it, since my energy level would be low and I would get a headache. Since starting the thymus I have no caffeine craving. I didn't intentionally try to stop or reduce caffeine consumption, I just suddenly realized I'd gone several days without drinking any tea or coffee and didn't miss is at all. I take the liver and thymus slightly differently than your instructions - I mix 3 tsp of the liver and 1 tsp of the thymus with 1 cup water and 1 tsp raw apple cider vinegar and drink once a day, usually in the evening, because I have raw milk and raw eggs in the AM.

I take the adrenal mostly as a precautionary measure because I have had problems with adrenal insufficiency. Interestingly, I have a young dog that is very wonderful, except that she had issues with an excessive fear response (no aggressiveness). It reminded me very much of how I felt with adrenal insufficiency, so I started her on 1 tsp of adrenal gland mixed with her food each day. The difference has been amazing. She simply no longer exhibits any more fear reaction than any typical dog. Thanks you for offering these products at a reasonable price.  SG

Sept 18, 2010:  Hello, Would you be able to give me a bit more information about Mike Brown's Diagnostic Bodybuilding book?  Thanks, K

Did you watch the short videos on the Introduction and first 6 chapters of Diagnostic Bodybuilding?  The links are:

Chapter 1   Supplementing Your Diet with Desiccated Liver
Chapter 2   40 Years of Bad Road
Chapter 3   Let the Diagnosis Begin
Chapter 4   I'm Not Okay, You're Not Okay
Chapter 5   What, When and Why Not to Eat
Chapter 6   When Not to Train

Mike Brown spent 7 years to research the material in this book using real people and himself on which to base his conclusions.

All chapters are listed on the web page: Diagnostic Bodybuilding.  There is an index at the end of the book that you can use for looking up specific issues. Sincerely, Dianne

August 27, 2010:  I want to make dog biscuits with powdered liver as an ingredient. Can`t find a recipe. Powdered liver is sold for use in white poodle food to alleviate staining from eyes. Why does that work? Would its use in dog biscuits have the same effect?  xx

You can find various dog biscuit recipes on the Internet and there are books with dog recipes in them.  I make frozen treats using one cup of creamed organic brown rice (cooled), a baked organic sweet potato (cooled), organic chicken broth, 2 tablespoons of liver powder, and 2 tablespoons of cashew butter.  I use a VitaMix to puree the sweet potato with the rice and enough chicken broth to make it a pourable liquid.  Then I add the other ingredients to the mix.  After thoroughly mixing them in, pour into ice cube trays and freeze for a nice bite sized snack.

I have also used half a tablespoon of liver powder mixed with water and craisins (unsulfured dried cranberries) for UTI.  It's the only way to get some dogs to eat the craisins.

You can use the liver powder by mixing half a teaspoon in with canned dog food once a day. You can add a little water if you mix it in with dry food.

I don't know why it would alleviate staining from the eyes. Maybe the B vitamins in it help the dog's immune system fight the condition.

[Note: Some of the above has been added to my original email response because of what I learned after sending it.]  Sincerely, Dianne

August 22, 2010:  Subject: bitter melon and cerasse

Hi: I am interested in trying either of the above and I understand the importance of choosing the right source. Where does your bitter melon, cerasse come from? Would also like to know which would be the more effective for reducing glucose, the powder or the tea bags? Thank you. Graciela

The cerasse is from Jamaica and is organic. It is bitter but drinkable. I have had diabetic customers obtain good results from the cerasse. The tea bags only require steeping for 3-5 minutes, the longer the stronger the tea. The bitter melon is from the Amazon rainforest and is organic. Because it is powder it is very strong (stronger than the cerasse) and the brewed tea may require diluting with water in order to drink in. The brewing of this tea takes 20 minutes and settling an additional 10 minutes before straining (leaving the powder in the pot). These are both from the same plant. Sincerely, Dianne

June 23, 2010:  I have the liver powder and haven't really taken it very well.  I am now pregnant and think my iron is getting low.  I am wondering if it is safe to take this while I am pregnant, or if I should just fight back my dislike of eating actual liver, and just do that?  Thanks for your time, AM

Dear AM, Congratulations. The liver powder will help your nutritional requirements while pregnant. It will also help the nutritional requirements of your baby. A tablespoon six days a week would be good or every other day if you want to take less. You don't need to eat actual liver while taking the liver powder.  Another organ meat you might want to consider is buffalo heart which you can get from various buffalo ranches and some grocery stores.  It tastes like a roast. Sincerely, Dianne

June 2, 2010:  Product arrived in a timely manner. As always, Thank You.  Regards, James

March 31, 2010:  Thank you for the quick delivery of the liver powder. I take liver powder and bee pollen on workout days. Talk about rocket fuel!  Sincerely, Anthony

March 29, 2010: I've already seen myself making gains back quickly since a long layoff of training. So I'm actually really enjoying it! I'll definitely be ordering more. I'm looking forward to the all new Samson/Superman version of myself that's beginning to bloom! Big thumbs up! Great Product!  Blessings, William

February 26, 2010:  Hi Dianne, I followed your link from Good Teeth from birth to death.  I listened to a recording of an interview by Judd and have been using soap ever since. I do think I need to get some dental work done however and was wondering if you have any referrals or what type of dentist to look for. Although, I am in California, if you have any suggestions as to where to look or how to look for an alternative dentist I’d appreciate it. Thanks, Heather

Dear Heather, Try to find a Holistic Dentist. Another great help to the teeth is to brush with a mix of cayenne pepper and salt. A man was told by his dentist he was going to lose a tooth so the man started using the cayenne pepper/salt mix to brush his teeth. Six months later the dentist asked what he had been doing because the tooth was back to normal. Sincerely, Dianne

February 17, 2010:  Hi Dianne Are there any general directions on the use of the Cerasse Tea? The Cerasse far better tasting then many potions I've tasted/used over the years, especially the dried cow parts I ordered 🙂 N-joy Sean

Sean, The directions to make Cerasse tea are on the box:

Use one tea bag for each cup desired. Slowly pour fresh bubbling, boiling water over tea bag and allow to steep for 3-5 minutes to strength desired. Serve piping hot or pour over ice tea for a refreshing cool drink. Add lemon or sugar to taste, or substitute honey as a natural, healthful sweetener.  Sincerely, Dianne

February 8, 2010:  Dianne, Can or should the beef liver powder be refrigerated? Dennis

Dennis, You can if you want to. It is not necessary. Without refrigeration the shelf life is 5 years. Sincerely, Dianne

January 7, 2010:  I am looking at your web site and had a question. I eat liver and love the nutritional benefits it provides. I see your Argentine Beef Liver Powder that you have available for purchase. Is it in capsule form? I want my children to have the benefits of liver nutrition, but they refuse to eat liver and I'm not sure they would go for a powder. How is it taken by children? Thanks, O

Dear O, I don't have it in capsules but others may have it available. A little girl takes it and you may have seen her story by her mother on my website but if you didn't, it's here.  Some people put it in chocolate soy milk (a couple pinches) and they can't even taste it. Mike Brown brought all his children up on it and they love the taste. They are all healthy and were tops in the sports they participated in. The secret is to start with a very small amount that can hardly be detected and slowly increase it. Sincerely, Dianne

Response:  Thanks for the info. Is the powder in a form that it can be encapsulated? We have a capsule-maker. Thanks, O

Yes, I have customers that do that but it doesn't get digested as well.  Dianne

January 4, 2010, Question on partial rep bench and deadlift: When you start the goal weight 2" 2x10 reps then next workout do 4" with the same weight, what do you do after that? Do you keep going down gradually each workout? Also when you do the workout on the deadlift where the person each workout gradually lowered the weight until all the way down, do you do bottom half reps and full reps with it. Thanks Darrell

Dear Darrell, Here is what Mike Brown had to say about your question:  In either case you work up to 20 reps and then increase the travel about 1/6 inch at a time. The example of William Boone should be in the Samson book (p. 90). If you try to go from 2 to 4 inch travel you will go from an exercise to an impossibility. Sincerely, Dianne

December 27, 2009:  Dear Dianne, ... I couldn't help wondering if you might have some insight into the health of our four legged friends. We have 3 Weimeraners that share our home and that we have fed what we believed was the best food we could afford. ... I'm in a quandary, I need to do better for our dogs but I'm really not sure how to go. I have no intention of making my problems yours, but I would greatly appreciate any insight you might have. Thanks, Jay

Dear Jay, I have heard that too much acid in the body can cause various conditions. Can you remember from science class that baking soda (a base) will neutralize acid? I've heard that in Italy they have started injected baking soda to treat cancer. A good way to cleanse the body (and I suspect alkalinize it) is to soak in baking soda and Epson salts.

I try to buy organic for my dogs. If it's too expensive for you, you can buy organic food and cook it for them yourself. A 10-day diet on brown rice (only brown rice, water, and salt), as much as you want, is also a great cleansing method. The body gets full nutrition and it has more time to heal since brown rice is so easy to digest. I've never tried it with a dog but it may work.  Sincerely, Dianne

December 26, 2009:  Dear Dianne; I feel compelled to thank you for your efforts to help humanity. I'm referring to I'm 57 years old and don't remember finding so much good information in one place. The internet is awash in opinion, sales pitches, and idiots working to aggrandize themselves but I found none of that there. Neither did you want me to buy your book before telling me the life changing secret!

Since 1970 I've made several efforts at building my body, which strangely, repeated memberships to various health clubs, regardless of how many reps I watched people do, never seemed to help. Working construction in the high desert on the other hand turned me into rock. I was in fine shape till the addition of a meth user to our crew and 38,200 lbs of steel on my left foot sent me down a path I nearly died on.

By the time the photos of you were taken in 2003 my 6'2" frame was invisible under 398 lbs of nearly dead flesh. I finally gave up on doctors and began struggling way back to health. I'm now 230 lbs, far more healthy, but sadly, have learned only a little of what you know. Thanks for the information, I'll do my best to use it. Happy Holidays! Jay

Dear Jay, Thank you for the kind words. I hope you can continue to recover. From experience I know we most likely will not be able to completely heal our injuries (at least in this world) but we can do our best with what God gave us. Sincerely, Dianne

October 21, 2009: I love your articles in Leviticus 11. I am a faithful drinker of wild oregano tea. It gives me energy. I take a cup every night. it helps me for tiredness, feeling down and also for aches and pains.--R

September 3, 2009:  Hello Dianne, My hips are off 1/2 inch to 1 inch, I have pain on the right side of my lower back, currently, I go to chiropractor and the help is temporary. Can you do anything for me? I read an article you wrote and I am hopeful. Thanks, Trey

Dear Trey, If you lay face up on a sturdy surface, is the left hip point higher than the right or vice versa? If you turn over is one buttock higher than the other? If this is the case, you may use a small rolled up towel to boost the lower side to equal the higher side. It's really hard to explain so I'm not sure I'm getting the point across. Also, you can use a sturdy pillow under the thighs up to the buttocks while facing up. Lying in these positions for about 15 minutes will help to release the tighter muscles which will equalize the levels. I'm not sure if the above will make sense to you. I think that Mike shows how this works in the video Bodybuilding the Right Way. This was a seminar Mike did in Dallas in 2003. If I get a chance in the next week, I will try to capture that part of the video and post it. Sincerely, Dianne

September 1, 2009:   How long will 1 lb  of beef thymus last me?  Tim

Tim, If you take a teaspoon a day, 3-6 times a week, approximately 12 weeks (estimate).Quite a few people take with the liver with it and say it acts like octane booster for the liver. Sincerely, Dianne

August 25, 2009:  Thank you for the quick deliveries, it is always appreciated. Jeffery

August 25, 2009:  Hi Dianne, quick question: What is the best way to "take care" of the Samson cable bands? Do they even need maintenance? If so, what do you use and how often?  Thanks in advance.  Jayson

Dear Jayson,  I just use coconut oil (either kind: to eat or for use on skin) to add a little moisture to them when they start to look a little dull.  You could do it after using them also.

Be sure to keep them in the closet or other dark area when you're not using them.  I like to keep mine in a plastic bag during storage too.  You can get large plastic zipper bags that would hold them without doubling them over.  Sincerely, Dianne

August 24, 2009:  Hi, Is Mits protein organic? Ray

Dear Ray, No, it isn't. Most people could not afford it if it was. The cost is unbelievably high. I suggest you try organic milk with organic eggs in a drink mixture with (if you have a good blender) some organic pineapple and papaya in the mix. These four ingredients would be about as close to those in Mits Protein. It won't be the same but should have a similar effect on the body. Sincerely, Dianne

March 27, 2009:  The wrist roller arrived on Wednesday.  The wrist roller by the way is very impressive and a killer.--Fred

January 27, 2009:  I was interested in this wrist roller.  I currently use a small 1.5" wooden dowel wrist roller.  How does this wrist roller differ in terms of forearm size compared to a normal wrist roller?  I mean will I see more size with this one?  I usually stand on something and hang my arms down and do the wrist roller because i have read that it takes the shoulders out of the movement.  What is the difference between doing it with the arms out at shoulder length and the way i do it?--Joe

The rule of thumb is, the thicker the handle of an exercise device for use with the hands—whether it be a wrist roller or a thick-handled dumbbell—the more grip strength it requires to use it.  The corollary is that the more grip strength that is required, the more forearm development you will achieve.

Hanging your arms down is not really a good idea.  You simply will not achieve the same level and intensity that you will with your arms held straight out, parallel to the floor.  Your hands and forearms will exhaust long before your shoulders.

For more information on why you should use a tapered, rather than straight, wrist roller, see the page on the The Tapered Wrist Roller. --Mike